Holly’s Not So Jolly: Creating a Safe Holiday for Pets
It’s easy to get swept away by the merriment and festivities of the holiday – what with all the tree trimming, menorah lighting, decorating, and – did we mention – food? And presents?
However, for our pets, the season may also deliver some hidden risks and dangers. To help you create a safe holiday for pets, we’re offering some tips for protecting your furriest family members.
Avoiding Dangerous Décor
- Tinsel, wrapping string, and ribbon – These items are like kryptonite to your cat and can become a painful GI obstruction, resulting in a serious veterinary emergency.
- Breakable ornaments – Almost every pet owner has experienced a mishap when it comes to cherished ornaments. Unfortunately, broken glass can cause cuts and abrasions on pets, so choose wisely (sturdy plastic or wood).
- Electrical cords – While any pet who likes to chew is at risk for shock by an electrical cord, these are especially pernicious for owners with ferrets, house rabbits, or other small rodents. Keep cords bundled and covered in heavy plastic or rubber tubing or tacked high off the floor.
- Edible gifts and ornaments – Trust us, your gift may be beautifully decorated, but food items will not go unnoticed by a hungry, scent-motivated canine. Keep presents off the floor unless you’re certain they do not contain toxic food items (like chocolate).
- Lit candles – Although ambience is important, candles can easily become 5-alarm fires or burn accidents in the presence of an enthusiastic tail or curious paw.
Keeping Pets Away From Food Toxins
Speaking of edibles, many foods used in baking and cooking can be poisonous to your pet. Some of the more common offenders include:
- Xylitol (common sugar substitute)
- Onions, chives, garlic
- Macadamia nuts
- Fruit pits
- Grapes and raisins
- Alcohol and caffeine
Avoid a possible pet poisoning by keeping your pet in another room when cooking or enjoying the holiday feast. Don’t forget that rich, fatty foods can also set your pet up for a dangerous bout of pancreatitis, so be vigilant when it comes to Fido or Fluffy.
Creating a Safe Holiday for Pets
There are many ways to bring a little holiday cheer to your pet without putting him or her at risk. One great way is to keep your pet active by getting 30 minutes of exercise each day. This helps prevent boredom and burns excess energy (as opposed to knocking over your beautifully decorated tree!).
Ultimately, what makes a safe holiday for pets is time and attention. By taking a moment to prepare and plan some festive pet-friendly activities, the season is sure to be pawsitively blissful.